Five Stars for LOWCOUNTRY BOIL

I read Low­coun­try Boil two years ago, short­ly after it was pub­lished by Hen­ery Press. Then I went to my first ever Mal­ice Domes­tic in 2013, and vot­ed for it to win as Best First Nov­el of 2012. Of course, I was sure I’d picked a lot of oth­er win­ners as well, but Low­coun­try Boil was the only win­ner I picked. Since I was sit­ting at one of the Hen­ery Press tables, I got a front row seat as the oth­er Hen­ery Press authors helped Susan Boy­er cel­e­brate.

Susan Boyer-Agatha winner

Susan Boy­er-Agatha win­ner

To do jus­tice to this book, I’m reread­ing it now, and enjoy­ing it just as much as I did the first time. Some things come back to me imme­di­ate­ly. I remem­bered the ghost (I love ghosts). When the lock­et turned up, I thought, aha! Oth­er plot points had slipped my mind. Oh, yes, now I remem­ber, I thought as a new dan­ger unfold­ed.

But this isn’t telling you about a great read. A Great Win­ning Read! Not only did it win the Agatha, but it won the 2012 Daphne du Mau­ri­er Award for Excel­lence in Mys­tery Sus­pense.

The low­coun­try of the sto­ry is a South Car­oli­na island along the Intra­coastal Water­way (Did I pass it on one of sev­er­al boat­ing trips, I won­der?) It’s a close-knit com­mu­ni­ty of friends, rel­a­tives, and often, ene­mies who may be both friends or rel­a­tives.

Liz returns to the island home­stead after her grand­moth­er dies. She learns it was mur­der. So, why would any­one kill a sweet old lady? There are con­spir­a­cies afoot, and a ghost who con­fers with Liz, look­ing to save the island from the bad guys.

Are the prob­lems bro­ken mar­riages, land grabs, long remem­bered slights? Or, none of the above? Although Liz runs her own pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tion agency in the city, her broth­er, the local police chief, does not want her help in solv­ing one mur­der and try­ing to pre­vent fur­ther may­hem.

Oth­er review­er com­ments: “I can see why this debut mys­tery is get­ting a lot of buzz.”

The para­nor­mal aspect adds to the sto­ry rather than tak­ing it over, strik­ing the per­fect bal­ance.”

A South­ern Mys­tery to be Savored!”

I agree with all of them.

Halloween Countdown-YA Ghost Reads

Vala-Ghost_Writer_300dpiIs there any­thing bet­ter than a ghost sto­ry for Hal­loween? Yes—two ghost sto­ries. One is mine, but first, let me tell you about Vala Kaye’s Ghost Writer.

Tech-savvy teen Malden Mont­gomery leaves New York City antic­i­pat­ing noth­ing but bore­dom when her artist-moth­er brings her along on a two-week vaca­tion to a fam­i­ly inn in rur­al Vir­ginia.

What Malden doesn’t expect is the owner’s 17-year-old son, Jack­son, who is total­ly to-die-for cute. But does she dare believe him when he tells her that her room at the inn may be haunt­ed by a young woman named Emi­ly, who died there more than 150 years ago?

Then Emi­ly begins to com­mu­ni­cate with Malden and she and Jack­son real­ize they have to find a way to help Emily’s ghost come back home or risk a spirit’s wrath if they choose to leave her lost in the dark­ness for­ev­er.

Vala Kaye — ABOUT THE AUTHORVala Kaye

Vala Kaye grew up in Texas as an avid read­er of sci­ence fic­tion, romance and his­to­ry. Her favorite writ­ers ran the gamut from Robert Hein­lein to Mar­garet Mitchell, and includ­ed side jour­neys with Louisa May Alcott’s “Lit­tle Women” and The Hardy Boys mys­ter­ies.

After grad­u­at­ing from col­lege with a dou­ble major in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and His­to­ry, Vala now lives and writes in warm and sun­ny south­ern Cal­i­for­nia. She is addict­ed to movies, live the­ater, word games and sal­sa danc­ing.

In her first pub­lished YA novel­la, Ghost Writer, Vala explores what hap­pens when the human ‘spir­it’ meets com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy. Vala’s newest title is Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence, book #1 of “The Super­hero Next Door” series.

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Get in the mood for Hal­loween with this fast, fun YA para­nor­mal novel­la! “Ghost Writer” is now avail­able in print or as an e-book. Check it out at these online retail­ers: Ama­zon | B&N.com | KoboiBooks

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The sec­ond YA ghost read is mine, Cher­ish (A YA Ghost Mys­tery). You can read all about it here: The e-book is free for five days from Octo­ber 28 through Novem­ber 1 at Ama­zon. But, before you do any­thing, com­ment below. Maybe you will win Ghost Writer.

An Historic Blog Visit

I love to vis­it Suzanne Adair’s blog, Rel­e­vant His­to­ry. There’s always some­thing new to learn about his­to­ry. Her guest blog­gers tell some of the unknown sto­ries, that hap­pen to be true, about var­i­ous times in the past. All that his­toric … Con­tin­ue read­ing

Ghosts Writing Notes

I’m trad­ing blog posts with Don­na G. Dri­ver. I’ve writ­ten a YA with a ghost and her YA with a ghost has just been accept­ed for pub­li­ca­tion. She told me what inspired her plot. So, here’s her fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry…

Ghosts Writ­ing Notes, by D. G. Dri­ver

If a ghost from the past want­ed to com­mu­ni­cate through a series of hand­writ­ten notes, would a teenag­er today be able to read them? This was the orig­i­nal premise of my soon-to-be-released YA novel­la Pass­ing Notes.

A cou­ple years ago my 17-year-old daugh­ter was in a rela­tion­ship where I swear the only way she and her boyfriend com­mu­ni­cat­ed was through texts – end­less amounts of non­sen­si­cal (and in my opin­ion, not very roman­tic) texts. I’m pret­ty sure they nev­er actu­al­ly talked to each oth­er. At the same time, my younger daugh­ter, who was nine, was learn­ing to write cur­sive. She was in the rare 3rd grade class­room that still taught cur­sive writ­ing, as most ele­men­tary schools have pulled that cur­ricu­lum, edu­ca­tors claim­ing it to be unnec­es­sary. Between the two expe­ri­ences of my chil­dren, I came up with a sto­ry idea: a boy is try­ing to win the love of a girl but is fail­ing because he keeps send­ing awk­ward and stu­pid texts or emails. Sud­den­ly, he begins get­ting a series of hand­writ­ten notes giv­ing him advice about how to write love let­ters and win the affec­tions of this girl. He first has to learn how to decode these mys­te­ri­ous notes, and then he tries to fig­ure out who is send­ing them and why.

I orig­i­nal­ly wrote Pass­ing Notes as a short sto­ry, but ear­li­er this year I felt inspired to take anoth­er look at it and stretch it out to a novel­la. Revi­sion is my mantra, and I am a big pro­po­nent of nev­er throw­ing away a sto­ry idea, because you nev­er know when the muse will vis­it with the per­fect solu­tion to “fix” what might be going wrong. In this case, my muse told me the sto­ry just need­ed more to it. I want­ed to real­ly explore who Mark’s girl Bethany was. Why would actu­al love let­ters appeal to her more than the ordi­nary texts and emails that every­one else gets? I intro­duced the rival boy at school, and added a cou­ple of Bethany’s girl­friends who aren’t par­tic­u­lar­ly on Mark’s side either. Most impor­tant­ly, I want­ed to build the rela­tion­ship between Mark and the ghost. How are the two of them relat­ed, and why does it mat­ter to the ghost so much that Mark win Bethany’s affec­tions?  And then, of course, if he fol­lows the ghost’s advice, will it work?

DonnaD-cryofthesea4 (2)

I was thrilled that Fire and Ice, the pub­lish­ers of my mer­maid nov­el Cry of the Sea, agreed to pub­lish Pass­ing Notes. It will be released on Jan­u­ary 24th, 2015. In the mean­time, do check out my cur­rent nov­el about a girl who dis­cov­ers real mer­maids washed up on the beach dur­ing an oil spill. You can sam­ple the first two chap­ters at the publisher’s web site: www.fireandiceya.com/authors/dgdriver/crysea.html Fol­low me on FB or Twit­ter to keep up to date on the release news for Pass­ing Notes, and read some of my oth­er sto­ries for free on Wattpad.

www.dgdriver.com

www.facebook.com/donnagdriver

Twit­ter: @DGDriverAuthor

www.d-g-driver.tumblr.com

http://www.wattpad.com/user/DGDriver

www.pinterest.com/dgdriver

www.instagram.com/d_g_driver#

 

Buy Links for Cry of the Sea:

http://www.parnassusbooks.net/book/9781612357867

(It is my under­stand that if you buy from this indie book store in Nashville, you can request an auto­graphed copy. They will email me, and I just have to drop by the store to sign a copy before they mail it)

http://www.lulu.com/shop/view-cart.ep

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IM0JF06

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cry-of-the-sea-d-g-driver/1118708060?ean=9781612357867

http://www.bookdepository.com/Cry-Sea-Driver/9781612357867

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Cry-Sea/D-G-Driver/9781612357867?id=6119232814287

Goodreads Giveaway

Cherish-FrontI’m run­ning a Goodreads give­away through Octo­ber 7, 2014. Cher­ish (A Ghost Mys­tery) takes place in cur­rent time, and in 1946. (Things like that hap­pen with ghosts, you know.)

Sign up for the give­away here.

Read the first two chap­ters here.

It’s the sopho­more Local His­to­ry ceme­tery vis­it. Sure, it’s almost Hal­loween, but Kay­la has seen that teen-age ghost for years. Why won’t she leave? When the dreamy senior asks Kay­la for a date, she decides to prove to her­self that she’s mature and in charge. She’ll tell that ghost to go away. But Kay­la shouldn’t have touched the ghost’s cold hand, because that’s when every­thing changed.

Sud­den­ly, it’s 1946, or is Kay­la dream­ing? Is she crazy? Why is her name Cher­ish? Why is her moth­er at home bak­ing cook­ies when she should be at work? And, she has a father? Didn’t he die years ago? Why is her best friend Trudy instead of Dani? And the thing in her pock­et is not a com­pact with a bad mir­ror. DON’T TRY TO OPEN IT!

Text mes­sages do trav­el across the years, judg­ing from those on her cell phone. But why is Dani mad at her? She isn’t there, is she? It can’t be, but it must. Some­one is tak­ing Kayla’s place in the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry. Who?

Fact: Cher­ish is ruin­ing her life in two cen­turies. If Kay­la doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die in 1946 with Cher­ish.

Cherish on Pre-Order

Cherish12-1-2013-Front-400Ama­zon has a new pro­gram, pre-orders on e-books for self-pub­lished authors. I couldn’t miss that with my new book. So Cher­ish is list­ed here. The e-book will be avail­able on Sep­tem­ber 10. The paper­back page will appear (and be on sale) Sep­tem­ber 1, 2014.

Here’s the blurb: It’s the sopho­more Local His­to­ry ceme­tery vis­it. Sure, it’s almost Hal­loween, but Kay­la has seen that ghost for years. She wants to make the ghost go away, but she shouldn’t have touched her hand, because, That’s When Every­thing Changed.

Kay­la finds her­self in 1946 as some­one else, some­one whose name is on an elab­o­rate tomb­stone. Is she Cher­ish, or is Cher­ish her? Is Cher­ish tak­ing her place?

Fact: Cher­ish is ruin­ing her life in two cen­turies. If Kay­la doesn’t find her way home to her own time and her own body, she will die with Cher­ish in a few days.
Ques­tion: Do cell phone texts span the cen­turies? And, if they do, will Kayla’s friends believe her?

 

Revealing Cherish Cover Today

Today is the big day — the big REVEAL! Cher­ish, a ghost mys­tery for young teens is show­ing its face. (Okay, just the eyes.)Cherish12-1-2013-Front-400

This is real­ly Kayla’s sto­ry. She’s the 15-year-old Sopho­more who is tired of see­ing things oth­ers don’t see. But when she faces the teenage ghost, it’s Kay­la who dis­ap­pears.

Where did she go? What’s with the year 1946? And why don’t her twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry friends miss her? Who is tak­ing her place? 

Cher­ish (A YA Ghost Mys­tery) will be pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 1, 2014. If you can’t wait until then, read the first two chap­ters here.

Be pre­pared for a spooky read. Remem­ber — Hal­loween is com­ing!

Cover Reveal — Coming

In Sep­tem­ber my YA ghost mys­tery, Cher­ish, will be pub­lished (before allCherish-Pre-reveal cover my grand­kids get too old to be inter­est­ed in Hal­loween sto­ries). I’m doing a cov­er reveal pro­gram on my Goodreads site. I’ll encour­ag­ing per­spec­tive read­ers (of all ages) to list Cher­ish as “want to read” by giv­ing away a two-chap­ter PDF.

Here’s the back-cov­er blurb.

Cher­ish can’t be my name. It doesn’t sound right. But who am I? I should have lis­tened bet­ter in that mini-psych class in mid­dle school. I’ve heard of bi-polar and mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties. I think. Is this the way peo­ple go crazy?”

Kay­la shouldn’t have tak­en that strange girl’s hand, because that’s when Every­thing Changed.

And, wasn’t it the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry? What’s with the date, Octo­ber 1946? That can’t be right.”

But, if SHE is Cher­ish, how about the date on that tomb­stone? If she doesn’t find a way back to her own body, and her own time.., Kay­la will DIE in a few days.

Not on the cov­er, the ele­va­tor pitch for this mys­tery: How can Kay­la return to own cen­tu­ry after she finds her­self in 1946 with only her cell phone and a cou­ple of Twinkies?

Ghosts and Hal­loween — sound like a mys­tery you’d like to read?

I’ve heard of moth­er-daugh­ter reads. This is a grand­moth­er-grand­daugh­ter read. I know, as a grand­moth­er, I con­tin­ue to be amazed by every­thing peo­ple do with their cell phones. (And, believe me, I had a lot of younger gen­er­a­tion help while writ­ing about text-mes­sag­ing — a big part of the mys­tery in this book.) Teens will be just as amazed by last century’s antique social media — the hard-wired tele­phone that isn’t going any­where, or doing much of any­thing.

 

 

 

Cover Reveal

Some­thing new is com­ing. My first young adult book, Cher­ish, is about to come on the scene.

From the back cov­er:

Cher­ish can’t be my name. It doesn’t sound right. But who am I? I should have lis­tened bet­ter to that mini-psych course in mid­dle school. I’ve heard of bi-polar and mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties. I think. Is this the way peo­ple go crazy?

Kay­la shouldn’t have tak­en that strange girl’s hand, because that’s when every­thing changed.

And, wasn’t it the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry? What’s with the date, Octo­ber, 1946? That can’t be right. It’s the same school, sort of. The same town, but dif­fer­ent.

But, if she is Cher­ish, how about the date on that tomb­stone? If she doesn’t find a way back to her own body, in her own time…,

Kay­la will die in a few days.